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Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003

Section 3 – The water environment: definitions

22.This section defines various terms that are used in this Part of the Act. Subsection (2) defines the water environment as all surface water, groundwater and wetlands. Subsection (10) specifies a number of artificial systems that are not affected by this Part. Some of the geographical limits of the definitions may (or must in the case of transitional water) be identified by reference to maps which the Scottish Ministers must deposit with SEPA (subsection (11)).

23.The cumulative effect of this section is that the water environment generally covers all water and wetlands (other than the excluded water mentioned in subsection (10)) out to 3 miles from the territorial sea base-line. Certain specific provisions of the Act (e.g. section 8 on monitoring) confer functions in relation to the territorial sea beyond that 3-mile limit.

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Text created by the Scottish Government to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Acts of the Scottish Parliament except those which result from Budget Bills.


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